15th Oct2012


Add New Life to Everyday Objects with ‘Upcycling’

by Dinah Wulf

If you are looking to upgrade but don’t want to discard, it’s possible to add new life to everyday items by “upcycling” them. Whether they are boring, broken or just taking up unnecessary space, here are three easy Do-It-Yourself crafts using materials you already have in your home.

Problem: Drab Light Control

If your living area needs a face lift but you don’t know where to begin, think lighting. That paint in the store may look perfect under the fluorescent lights of a warehouse, but it will undergo a dramatic transformation in your home’s natural light. You can control how much sunlight streaming into your home will affect your decor by using Blinds.com window blinds and other window treatments. Shutters help regulate light and offer privacy, but all that fancy light control can sometimes be pricey. Why not revamp what you already have?

Solution: Paint Your Curtains

Yes, it’s possible. All you need is fabric paint, tape and a small roller with a thin sponge. If you don’t have fabric paint don’t fret; using that regular wall paint you have stored in the garage will work too. All you need to do is add textile medium to the paint. Its a $2- $5 acrylic paint additive that allows for proper adhesion and permanence on a fabric. AKA it helps them not flake or fade. Now just tape off whatever design you want – stripes and chevron are bold choices – and get sponging.

Problem: Glass Overload

When you’re creative or crafty, a common problem is having a shelf, closet or pantry full of items you can’t bear to toss out. These items aren’t keepsakes, but materials that could someday come in handy when creating. So if you have a closet such as this, here’s a solution for something that’s bound to be in your collection: glass jars.

Solution: Upcycle Old Jars

You’ll need your jars of all sizes, yarn, masking tape, white spray paint, ribbon and tea lights. Tightly wrap yarn in a crisscross pattern around a jar, then tape the ends on the underside or inside of the jar. Don’t place tape anywhere you’ll be painting. Lightly spray the jars with three coats of white paint and let dry. Remove the yarn, wrap the tops with ribbon and add your tea lights for a chic twist on DIY candles and light.

Problem: Outdated or Broken Frames

You probably have some outdated or broken frames somewhere in your home waiting to be used or thrown away. But instead of wasting or willing them away, upcycle them into something new. Whether they are cracked, an awful color or outdated design, this crafty tip will transform them in no time. And bonus, they don’t necessarily need to be used as frames, but maybe trendy wall décor instead.

Solution: DIY Yarn Frames

Mkae sure you have enough yarn knowing that one skein would probably cover five 8-by-8-inch frames. Besides yarn and your frames, the only other thing you’ll need is a light-duty staple gun. Start by stapling the loose ends of the yarn to the top left corner on the back of the frame. To prevent unraveling, loop the yarn around the frame twice, pulling it tight. Then start wrapping, working in a clockwise motion and every so often scrunching it toward the wrapped end to make the effect more substantial. Once you’ve covered the frame, staple the end to the backside of the frame, making sure it doesn’t unravel.

Getting crafty to reuse common items around your home doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be pricey. By recycling something the average person would throw away you are revamping your space in a spunky, eco-friendly way.

Authored By: Justin Greig A self-proclaimed “21st century hippie,” Justin studied Journalism at Berkeley and freelances for many environmental publications. He has a special interest in conservation, and he and his wife recently added solar panels to their home.

 

 

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Dinah has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California State University Fullerton. She is a Curator for Style Me Pretty Living, a Blogger at Earth911 and GMC Trade Secrets, and a member of Martha’s Circle. Her website, DIY Inspired has been recognized by Mashable, Parenting.com, and Circle of Moms as a Most Creative Blog. Dinah was featured on Linqia’s Community Spotlight, as an influential community leader.

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